Meet Our Student and Part-Time Staff 2018-2019

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Macy Smith

Graduate Assistant

West Philadelphia Tutoring Project

Ephrata, PA

Major: Education

Fun fact: My mom and I share the same birthday.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

For the past two years, Macy worked in Philadelphia public schools through City Year, an Americorps program focused on educational equity and ensuring that students are prepared to graduate high school on time and on grade level. Prior to City Year, Macy attended Ursinus College, where she majored in English with minors in Psychology and Education, and was a Resident Advisor, advocate for sexual assault survivors on campus, and tutored through the Center for Writing and Speaking.  Through her classes, study abroad, and other experiences outside the classroom, she began to think critically about the inequities within education and the ways in which other injustices fuel educational inequality, cultivating a passion for learning about social justice issues both in and outside education. Outside of work, Macy enjoys trying new foods with friends, hiking, and reading.

The West Philadelphia Tutoring Project (WPTP) aims to promote mutually beneficial relationships between the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia students, primarily through weekly tutoring sessions. WPTP partners with Philadelphia public schools and provides on-campus tutoring to tutees in an effort to improve their performance in school and help them gain confidence in their academic potential. WPTP also provides tutors with opportunities to engage with the West Philadelphia community, gain a greater understanding of education issues, and develop a sense of civic responsibility. If you are interested in tutoring, learning more about the West Philadelphia community, and critically thinking about issues within education, you can learn more at https://upennwptp.weebly.com/ or feel free to email me!

You can reach me at msmith9@gse.upenn.edu

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Andreas Nolan

Program Assistant

Community Partner Liaison

New York, NY

Major: Psychology, English minor

Fun Fact: I once had 10 pets at the same time (a dog, a bird, and 8 cats)!

Pronouns: He/Him/His

I'm currently a senior at Penn both excited and nervous to graduate! I first became involved with Civic House as a PennCORP participant freshman year, and have loved it ever since. On campus I do psychology research and am a member of Penn Benjamins Peer Counseling.

As a Community Partner Liaison, I hope to find ways for all Penn students to get involved with Civic House by doing work for an organization they care about. If you're looking to find ways to volunteer off-campus, reach out and we can see if one of our partners would be right for you! :)

You can reach me at andreasn@sas.upenn.edu or communitypartnerliaisons@gmail.com


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Madison Pettaway

Program Assistant

Events and Faculty Engagement Assistant

Providence, RI

Major: Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and Health and Societies

Fun Fact: I still do not know how to ride a bike!

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I am super interested in civic engagement, gender equity, LGBTQ+ issues, public health, mass incarceration, and racial issues! In addition to being a Program Assistant at Civic House, I am the Education Chair for Penn Association for Gender Equity (PAGE), a Peer Anti-Violence Educator (PAVE), a Peer Mental Health Advocate with Project Let's End the Stigma, and the Community Service Chair for my pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta (PAD). I also research with the Penn Slavery Project and the From Cell to Homes Project for Women Lifers in PA. Additionally, I volunteer at Why Not Prosper, an organization that supports formerly incarcerated women, and am a volunteer birth doula with the Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support (PALS).

At Civic House, I plan, support, and carry out Civic House internal events! These events include staff birthday celebrations, study breaks, the Gutman Lecture, MLK Day, and alumni development events, among others. I also assist with faculty outreach by organizing several faculty lunches/dinners, so you should reach out to me if there are any faculty members who you think should speak at Civic House!

You can reach me at madip@sas.upenn.edu

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Ayah El-fahmawi

Program Assistant

Open Forum & PennCORP Assistant

Union City, CA

Major: Biology

Fun Fact: I speak Arabic because I am Palestinian.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I am minoring in Fine Arts and am a member of the Excelano Project, Penn's premiere spoken word poetry collective. I am interested in social justice, Palestine, and storytelling.

The Open Forum project is a great way to engage new Penn students in important social justice topics as well as programs around campus. We are always interested in collaborating with other groups on campus that are invested in social justice and starting dialogues with new people!

You can reach me at ayahe@sas.upenn.edu

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Tatiana Johnson

Program Assistant

Campus & Community Relations Assistant

Northeast Bronx and lower Mount Vernon, NY

Major: History, Sociogy and Cinema Studies minors

Fun Fact: I went to the same high school as JLO. Go Panthers!

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hi! My name is Tatiana Johnson and I am Program Assistant at Civic House. I am a sophomore in the college, majoring in History and minoring in Sociology and Cinema Studies. My interests include photography, music and cinema. In my free time, I like to watch thriller films and documentaries, edit photos, browse Twitter, and sleep - in that order. I'm passionate about issues related to criminal justice and mass incarceration, womxn's rights, and racial equity.

At Civic House, I do work regarding Campus and Community relations. This means I coordinate information coming from Penn's campus and the surrounding Philadelphia community to the applicable people within Civic House. I also manage space reservations at Civic House and communicate relevant information or opportunities from organizations to our Multimedia Assistant.

You can reach me at jtatiana@sas.upenn.edu

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Kevin Zeno

Program Assistant

Multimedia Assistant

Worcester, MA

Major: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Fun Fact: I am the first in my family to go to college!

Pronouns: He/Him/His

I am a Latino who is very passionate about my cultural ties to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Moreover, I am passionate about social justice issues, especially issues involving youth and education. Outside of my job at the Civic House, I am involved with a few SPEC branches, SOUL, and a few other organizations on campus. Some of my favorite hobbies are drawing, photography, listening to music, and going to concerts!

As Multimedia Assistant, I am in charge of marketing Civic House events through multiple social media platforms and newsletters. I generate and relay a lot of the content posted involving Civic House.

You can reach me at zenok@sas.upenn.edu

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Maribel Davila

Program Assistant

Events Assistant

Lakeworth, FL

Major: Marketing

Fun Fact: I have had 6 jobs since I was 15. 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I am a Latinx, FGLI student interested in criminal justice reform, Latinx identity, and social impact initiatives. I am a committee member with Marketing Undergraduate Student Establishment (MUSE) Promoweb, Communications Chair of Penn First, and a communications and media committee member for the annual Latinx Ivy League Conference. I love music and fashion, and my main hobby is going downtown and finding new, unique coffee shops.

As the Events Assistant, I plan, support, and execute many of Civic House's internal events, such as study breaks and the Gutman Lecture. I also help plan Faculty Engagement events.

You can reach me at maribeld@wharton.upenn.edu

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Maryanne Koussa

Program Assistant

Alumni Development

Burbank, CA

Major: International Relations

Fun Fact: The TV show "Victorious" was based on and filmed at my high school.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Because of my Syrian background, I am passionate about the refugee crisis, criminal justice, and community engagement. I am also interested in Outside of Civic House, I'm also involved in 34th Street Magazinethe F-Word Magazine, Reach-A-Peer Helpline, the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Undergraduate Advisory Board, and Penn Dems. You can also find me volunteering for CSSP at Comegys Elementary School or working on the upcoming election with PAdems!

At Civic House, I'm involved in Alumni Development. This means that I get to find and share stories from past community partners who have been affiliated with Civic House. I'm also working on communicating and planning events for the 20th Anniversary of Civic House!

You can reach me at mkoussa@sas.upenn.edu

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Gerolly Lorenzo

Social Work Intern

Assessment, Community Engagement Program, and Open Forum

Brooklyn, NY

Major: Macro Social Work

Fun Fact: I have a twin little sister. We were born on the same day and she is a mini version of me.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

My interests are in access to higher education, social justice and immigration. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Macro Social Work in the hopes to one day manage a program touching on some of these issues.

At the Civic House I'll be working on the assessment of programs, supporting the community engagement program and their Open Forum discussions. Get in contact with me if you have an interesting social justice related topic for Open Forum!

You can reach me at glorenzo@upenn.edu

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Jennifer Selpa

Campus Compact of NY & PA AmeriCorps VISTA

Link between Civic House and HIAS PA & Manager of Civic House's "Sharing Our Story" Series

Dumont, NJ


Fun Fact: I'm on level 1,933 (and counting) of Candy Crush

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I am a recent graduate of Villanova University where I majored in Political Science with a minor in Peace & Justice. When I'm not at Civic House or HIAS PA, you can find me working at Starbucks as a Barista, or in my living room working on a painting. 

My VISTA project includes working to help build the capacity of the employment program at HIAS PA through resource development and volunteer mobilization with students from the Civic House. HIAS Pennsylvania provides legal and supportive services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from all backgrounds in order to assure their fair treatment and full integration into American society. HIAS Pennsylvania advocates for just and inclusive public policies and practices. You should reach out to me if you have an interest in volunteering with HIAS PA in the Spring Semester or if you are fluent in a second language including, but not limited to, Dari, Urdu, Russian, French, Tigrinya, Pashtoo, French or Spanish and would be interested in being a volunteer interpreter. 

You can reach me at jselpa@upenn.edu